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Waterbeach leasehold conveyancing: Q and A’s

I want to sublet my leasehold flat in Waterbeach. Conveyancing solicitor who did the purchase is retired - so can't ask her. Is permission from the freeholder required?

Notwithstanding that your last Waterbeach conveyancing solicitor is no longer around you can check your lease to check if it allows you to sublet the premises. The accepted inference is that if the deeds are non-specific, subletting is permitted. Quite often there is a prerequisite that you are obliged to seek permission from your landlord or some other party in advance of subletting. The net result is you not allowed to sublet in the absence of prior permission. Such consent should not be unreasonably refused ore delayed. If the lease does not allow you to sublet you should ask your landlord for their consent.

I am hoping to put an offer on a small detached house that appears to meet my requirements, at a great figure which is making it more attractive. I have subsequently found out that it's a leasehold rather than freehold. I am assuming that there are issues purchasing a house with a leasehold title in Waterbeach. Conveyancing advisers have not yet been instructed. Will they explain the issues?

Most houses in Waterbeach are freehold rather than leasehold. In this scenario it’s worth having a local conveyancer who is familiar with the area can assist with the conveyancing process. it is apparent that you are purchasing in Waterbeach in which case you should be shopping around for a Waterbeach conveyancing practitioner and check that they have experience in advising on leasehold houses. First you will need to check the unexpired lease term. As a lessee you will not be entirely free to do whatever you want with the house. The lease will likely included provisions such as requiring the landlord’spermission to conduct changes to the property. It may be necessary to pay a contribution towards the maintenance of the estate where the house is located on an estate. Your lawyer should appraise you on the various issues.

What are your top tips when it comes to appointing a Waterbeach conveyancing firm to carry out our lease extension conveyancing?

When appointing a solicitor for lease extension works (regardless if they are a Waterbeach conveyancing firm) it is essential that he or she should be familiar with the legislation and specialises in this area of conveyancing. We suggested that you make enquires with two or three firms including non Waterbeach conveyancing practices before you instructing a firm. If the firm is ALEP accredited then that’s a bonus. Some following of questions might be helpful:

  • How experienced is the firm with lease extension legislation?
  • What are the costs for lease extension conveyancing?

  • Can you provide any top tips for leasehold conveyancing in Waterbeach from the perspective of saving time on the sale process?

    • Much of the frustration in leasehold conveyancing in Waterbeach can be bypassed if you appoint lawyers the minute your agents start advertising the property and ask them to put together the leasehold information needed by the buyers lawyers.
    • In the event that you altered the property did you need the Landlord’s approval? In particular have you installed wooden flooring? Waterbeach leases often stipulate that internal structural alterations or addition of wooden flooring necessitate a licence from the Landlord approving such changes. If you dont have the paperwork in place do not communicate with the landlord without contacting your conveyancer in the first instance.
  • A minority of Waterbeach leases require Licence to Assign from the landlord. If this applies to your lease, you should place the estate agents on notice to make sure that the purchasers obtain financial (bank) and professional references. Any bank reference will need to confirm that the buyers are financially capable of paying the yearly service charge and the actual amount of the service charge should be quoted in the bank’s letter. You will therefore need to provide your estate agents with the actual amount of the service charge so that they can pass this information on to the purchasers or their lawyers.
  • If you have had conflict with your landlord or managing agents it is very important that these are settled prior to the flat being put on the market. The buyers and their solicitors will be reluctant to purchase a flat where a dispute is unsettled. You may need to swallow your pride and pay any arrears of service charge or settle the dispute prior to completion of the sale. It is therefore preferable to have any dispute settled prior to the contract papers being issued to the buyers’ solicitors. You are still duty bound to disclose particulars of the dispute to the purchasers, but it is clearly preferable to reveal the dispute as over rather than unsettled.
  • If you are supposed to have a share in the freehold, you should make sure that you are holding the original share document. Arranging a re-issued share certificate can be a time consuming process and frustrates many a Waterbeach home move. If a reissued share certificate is necessary, do contact the company officers or managing agents (if relevant) for this as soon as possible.

  • Completion in due on our sale of a £275000 flat in Waterbeach in 10 days. The management company has quoted £312 for Landlord’s certificate, insurance certificate and 3 years service charge statements. Is it legal for a freeholder to charge such fees for a flat conveyance in Waterbeach?

    For the majority of leasehold sales in Waterbeach conveyancing will involve, queries regarding the management of a building inevitably needing to be answered directly by the freeholder or its agent, this includes :

    • Answering conveyancing due diligence enquiries
    • Where consent is required before sale in Waterbeach
    • Copies of the building insurance and schedule
    • Deeds of covenant upon sale
    • Registering of the assignment of the change of lessee after a sale
    Your lawyer will have no control over the level of the charges for this information but the average costs for the information for Waterbeach leasehold property is £350. For Waterbeach conveyancing transactions it is customary for the seller to pay for these costs. The landlord or their agents are under no legal obligation to answer such questions most will be willing to do so - albeit often at exorbitant prices where the fees bear little relation to the work involved. Unfortunately there is no law that requires fixed charges for administrative tasks. Neither is there any legal time frame by which they are obliged to provide the information.

    Waterbeach Conveyancing for Leasehold Flats - Examples of Queries before buying

      Does the lease have onerous restrictions? How much is the service charge and ground rent on the apartment? Who takes responsibility for maintaining and repairing the block?

    Other Topics

    Lease Extensions in Waterbeach